Ian Bourland

  • Poster for Andrzej Wajda’s 1958 film, Ashes and Diamonds, repainted by Said Mesfioui Ben Salam, 2011–12. From “Yto Barrada.”

    Yto Barrada

    Over the past decade, the work of the French-born, Morocco-based artist Yto Barrada has gradually revealed itself as recursive, with new projects incorporating the documentary images of the Maghreb and the Mediterranean that brought the artist international attention. At once chromatic and undersaturated, those ambiguously allusive pictures stand on their own, but Barrada has taken to redeploying them—along with her sculptural works, films, and videos—in broader thematic installations. Her most recent project, “Album: Cinematheque Tangier” (on view through May 18), is perhaps the

  • View of “Directions: Jennie C. Jones: Higher Resonance,” 2013. From left: Bass Traps with False Tones A & B, 2013; Score for Six Measures with Subtone, 2013.

    Jennie C. Jones

    Jennie C. Jones makes abstract work using paint, sound, and audio equipment such as acoustic panels and bass traps. Her multimedia exhibition “Directions: Jennie C. Jones: Higher Resonance” joins thirteen new works with a looped composition played through elevated speakers. The curved exterior gallery of the Gordon Bunshaft–designed Hirshhorn Museum—often an odd counterpoint to the austere rectilinearity of much of its collection—is made a virtue here, as Jones has converted its arced space into an acoustic chamber for music that seeps invitingly into the surrounding corridor.

    In the

  • Carrie Schneider, Burning House (July, sunset), 2011, C-print, 40 x 50".
    picks April 28, 2012

    Carrie Schneider

    For her new collection of photographs, “Burning House,” 2010–11, Carrie Schneider returned twelve times to a small island in the center of a rural Wisconsin lake. On each visit, she hauled or canoed a small house with her, and then set it on fire before submitting it to the panoramic sweep of her lens. The resulting pictures are by turns unsettling, inviting, and enigmatic.

    While the exhibition’s press release assures us that Schneider’s take on the well-worn genre of landscape includes some deep performative element, and that the pictures hark back to Monet’s studies of light in the French

  • View of “Sigetics,” 2011.
    picks April 27, 2011

    Rénee Green

    For twenty years Rénee Green’s work has explored connections: between color and knowledge; among global networks (of people, ideas, materials); and between art and its audiences. In this sense, her latest exhibition feels like nothing new. And, in many ways, it is not––“Sigetics” is culled from her two-decade career and two recent surveys thereof. Indeed, the Elizabeth Dee Gallery feels reconfigured here as something of an archive in the process of its own creation, its boldly chromatic banners and framed prints recursively pointing us back to other moments, even as they intoxicate us visually.

  • View of “Autotypes, a Work in Situ,” 2011.
    picks April 24, 2011

    John Knight

    Entering Greene Naftali’s cavernous Chelsea space for this exhibition feels, in a word, underwhelming. The viewer is greeted by a large corporate font declaring AUTOTYPES—the first word of the show’s title—and a vitrined stack of gold-rimmed china plates (all works 2011). There is an inky square on the top plate’s surface, but those below remain hidden. A walk-through of the two rear galleries reveals plate after plate, mounted at eye level, each adorned with a similar black mass: Some look like aerial shots of military installations, others microchips, and a few ambiguous hieroglyphics. These

  • Brendan Fernandes, Foe, 2008, still from a color video, 4 minutes 39 seconds.
    picks April 13, 2011

    “Found in Translation”

    One could be forgiven for coming to understand this wave of globalization over the past twenty years as a clash of civilizations doomed by religious and linguistic separation. The Tower of Babel scenario is a letimotif highlighted by everything from Hollywood film to the war on terror. Nonetheless, according to Édouard Glissant (among others), globalization has always entailed a process of translation that is not only necessary but productive. The latter view is the starting point of this show, which features eleven artists working with film and video.

    The art by this global cast can be at times

  • Eva Leitolf, Althaldensleben (“Ollin”), 2006, color photograph, 32 x 27”. From the series “German Images—Looking for Evidence,” 2006.
    picks March 08, 2011

    “Project Europa: Imagining the (Im)Possible”

    This group exhibition, organized in conjunction with the University of Florida’s Harn Museum of Art, takes up the democratic idealism and lived contradiction of the European Union some twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. That event in 1989 marked a physical and symbolic turning point, heralding the reunification of the continent, this time under the aegis of an imagined community dedicated to human rights and multiculturalism. It is in the examination of these fault lines that “Project Europa” shines.

    As much as it is now convention to refer to Europe as a concrete entity, the themes

  • Philip-Lorca diCorcia, W, May 2008, #15, color photograph, 39 x 49".
    picks February 24, 2011

    Philip-Lorca diCorcia

    Philip-Lorca diCorcia, well known for his staged photographs that depict friends, family, and strangers in ambiguous mise-en-scènes, returns to this gallery with “Eleven,” a suite of fashion images culled from the eleven projects he created for W magazine between 1997 and 2008. Without gleaning this information from the press release, one could be forgiven for not thinking them “commercial” photos at all. The works recall those in his previous shows, which have mined the gray areas between street and directed images and between the personal and the public, generating a sort of hybrid form of “

  • View of “David Hammons,” 2011.
    picks February 16, 2011

    David Hammons

    In this exhibition, the esteemed New York artist David Hammons revisits themes that were active in an exhibition he mounted several years ago at this gallery, a posh town house on the Upper East Side. His 2007 collaboration here (with Chie Hammons, his wife) marked a shifting of gears away from overt and found signifiers of race and refuse, instead using signs of luxuriance—fur coats—and defacing them with paint and varnish, in addition to setting them on fire. For the present project, Hammons has hung large abstract paintings and has draped them with torn sheets of plastic, of the sort one

  • Odili Donald Odita, Point of Return, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 92”.
    picks December 11, 2010

    Odili Donald Odita

    For those not familiar with Philadelphia-based painter Odili Donald Odita’s vivid revitalization of 1960s and ’70s hard-edged abstraction, this exhibition is a concise and elegant introduction. Since returning almost exclusively to painting in 1998, Odita has modulated his work between canvas, Plexiglas, and direct application of paint to gallery walls. Versions of each process are featured here, and all the resulting works are saturated with the rich acrylic tones hand-mixed for each piece.

    In some ways, the show demonstrates the seemingly infinite variation of Odita’s tightly regulated visual

  • Andreas Gursky, Dortmund, 2009, color photograph, 120 7/8 x 87 7/8”.
    picks September 28, 2010

    “New Work”

    This group exhibition features recent pieces by seven of Matthew Marks’s marquee, midcareer artists. What it lacks in coherence it makes up for in the delight of seeing familiar names delivering technically proficient, visually arresting work. If there is a leitmotif here, it is scale: The show spans two buildings containing voluminous gallery spaces, and offers works that range from the uncannily miniature to the sublimely massive. Two chromatically rich (but comparatively unimaginative) paintings by Terry Winters are resoundingly upstaged in one gallery by Dortmund, 2009, by Andreas Gursky.

  • Eric Doeringer, On Kawara, 2010, acrylic and giclée on canvas, 8 x 10”.
    picks September 26, 2010

    “Crowd Scene”

    In “Crowd Scene,” artist Todd Kelly manages a group show that is more than the sum of its parts. As curator, he also unwittingly proves the exhibition’s underlying conceit, that there is simply too much competition out there for emerging, overly educated artists to succeed individually.

    Of course, there are many artists who have broken through during the past decade, usually by doing the sometimes unglamorous work of developing a visual language and engaging rigorously with formal, social, or conceptual problems. Not so for most of the four artists in this exhibition, particularly those who seem